One-on-one with the late Richard Lewis


One-on-one with the late Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis 1947–2024

TEN YEARS AGO the comedian Richard Lewis, currently appearing in season 12—the final season, and now a posthumous one—of Curb Your Enthusiasm on Home Box/Max, was coming to Baltimore to do his standup act. Actually, he was coming to Timonium, an “outside the Beltway” suburb of Baltimore. To further complicate matters, he was performing at a comedy club called Magooby’s. I contacted Mr. Lewis on behalf of City Paper, a Baltimore alt-weekly newspaper that was a blast to work at because I would get a chance to interview somebody like Richard Lewis.

And in Lewis’ case, he gave his all to the interview. The transcript was way long, like 6,000 words. it never got into print in its entirety, but here’s a link to a shabbily-presented online version of the entire transcript on the Baltimore Sun’s web site. They bought City Paper and the less said about that the better, and they have problems of their own. Here’s a chunk that didn’t make the cut:

I'm still, you know—I was sitting, I go to hotels a lot, in L.A., cool hotels, and sit there for hours and pore over material. If I have any kind of acting thing, I like to get outta the house, and let my wife just have it. I have a really cool house in Laurel Canyon, I always wanted to live in Laurel Canyon, sort of hippie-dippy rock and roll history up here, it's amazing, it's just great. And the house is almost a hundred years old, and a lot of people lived in it before me, and I'm not sure if it's haunted or not, but it's haunted with my ex-girlfriends, I'll tell you that much. I blame any—you know, I'm still cookin' sexually, but if I have a problem I blame it on, I have a list, under my pillow, my wife doesn't know this, but I go "I can't believe Lauren did this to me," you know, it's not me, she cursed my sexuality tonight, I'm sorry. My wife actually bought that, 10 years ago, when I would say "Ohh, I can't believe it. Janice, that bitch, stole shit from me, and I'm thinking about it, and, you know, it's affecting me inside." Two or three of those, and she sends you right to the internist. [wrapping up] So, uh, I have answered nothing. I'm sorry, I'm a bad interview.

Anyway, I got on the phone with him and he stayed on the line 40 minutes, and gave me a warning. “You talk 40 minutes to a journalist, here's the article: ‘Lewis was crazy as a loon, his shows are at 8:30 . . .’ If this is not more than three lines, I'll find ya.”

I didn’t ask very many questions because I was overwhelmed by the Richard Lewis free-association onslaught. I saved the recording, and here it is. Richard Lewis did a set for me on the phone, complete with crowd work (me). I’ll never forget it. Good night, funnyman.


New York City, March 3, 2024

★★★★★ The younger boy marveled at the light filling the fire stairs. Basketballs were bouncing, near and far. A motor scooter rolled down the block blaring Slick Rick. It felt desperately important to be outside, even for a quick errand. Rooftops extended sharply against the blue sky; the clouds drifted along, small and shapely and well spaced; the buds on the silver maple thrust up in vivid red. A woman walked along talking on her phone, telling the person on the other end to get out and enjoy this one good day. Inside the Park, people sat on grassy slopes or rock outcrops facing into the sun. Books and computers were out, indoor work removed to the open air. A football was flying, and a volleyball. A lone yellow flower in a green rosette pushed up through a thick layer of dead and crumbling leaves. Bobbers on fishing lines glowed with lurid colors, and a child cast a plain white one across the Loch into the branches overhanging the opposite side. Blobs of something blackish, broken loose, floated away on the current. Easefulness was everywhere. Someone had brought out a tiny baby into what must have been the most beautiful day of the baby's entire life so far. The heads of the mallards shone metallic green from a distance. Leaves were sprouting from the rot inside the hollowed-out tree limb that bridges the fetid little streamlet above the Pool. A cardinal sang a loud, descending song in the gathering dusk. A glance out the window at bedtime found one last marvel, pale lit-up clouds in ranks with dark, linear gaps between them, so uncanny it was worth digging the glasses out of the desk drawer to get a proper look.


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 229: How is that national temperature?

Tom Scocca • Mar 4, 2024

A scale with a hand doing "thumbs up" gesture opposed by another hand also doing a "thumbs up" on the other side of the scale but weighing more even though they look the same

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WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS in aid of the assembly of a sandwich from The Central Cook Book: A Collection of Tested Recipes, compiled and published by Circle Number Three, Central Methodist Church, Raleigh, N.C. in 1924, now in the Public Domain and available at for the delectation of all.

Egg Mixtures

In egg mixtures allow one egg for every two or three sandwiches. Five eggs make about one cup.

The basis of the egg mixture is hard-cooked eggs mashed to a paste, moistened with cream, mayonnaise, melted butter or French dressing, allowing one-quarter cup of these to one cup of eggs, and seasoned with any of the following:

Finely minced capers and pickles; equal parts of well-drained spinach seasoned with sauce instead of mayonnaise; mashed anchovies and chopped pickle; chopped olives; equal parts of ground cheese, chopped pimientoes or chopped green peppers, and chives.

When possible, serve fresh watercress with egg sandwiches..

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, be sure to send a picture to


The second printing of 19 FOLK TALES is now available for gift-giving and personal perusal! Huddle up against the cold with a cozy collection of stories, each of which is concise enough to read within the snowy part of a wintry-mix storm.

HMM WEEKLY MINI-ZINE, Subject: GAME SHOW, Joe MacLeod’s account of his Total Experience of a Journey Into Television, expanded from the original published account found here at Hmm Daily. The special MINI ZINE features other viewpoints related to an appearance on, at, and inside the teevee game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, available for purchase at SHOPULA.

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